Thursday, May 24, 2012

An Uncommon Education Review

  “A young woman tries to save three people she loves in this elegant and remarkably insightful coming-of-age debut.
Afraid of losing her parents at a young age—her father with his weak heart, her deeply depressed mother—Naomi Feinstein prepared single-mindedly for a prestigious future as a doctor. An outcast at school, Naomi loses herself in books, and daydreams of Wellesley College. But when Teddy, her confidant and only friend, abruptly departs from her life, it’s the first devastating loss from which Naomi is not sure she can ever recover, even after her long-awaited acceptance letter to Wellesley arrives.
Naomi soon learns that college isn’t the bastion of solidarity and security she had imagined. Amid hundreds of other young women, she is consumed by loneliness—until the day she sees a girl fall into the freezing waters of a lake.
The event marks Naomi’s introduction to Wellesley’s oldest honor society, the mysterious Shakespeare Society, defined by secret rituals and filled with unconventional, passionate students. Naomi finally begins to detach from the past and so much of what defines her, immersing herself in this exciting and liberating new world and learning the value of friendship. But her happiness is soon compromised by a scandal that brings irrevocable consequences. Naomi has always tried to save the ones she loves, but part of growing up is learning that sometimes saving others is a matter of saving yourself.
An Uncommon Education is a compelling portrait of a quest for greatness and the grace of human limitations. Poignant and wise, it artfully captures the complicated ties of family, the bittersweet inevitability of loss, and the importance of learning to let go.”
My thoughts: I have very few thoughts regarding this book. Unfortunately, I could not find a thread to cling to. Nothing struck me enough to keep me moving through the book. I quit on page 143.  I can certainly give a quick review of likes and dislikes up until page 143, however. 
The author is a prolific writer. She makes every sentence colorful and vivid. This is both a strength and weakness in my mind.  After so many wordy sentences, I found my attention wandering. It was a little too much waxing poetic for my liking. This style of writing can go either way for the reader.
The reason I stopped reading is that nothing happened. Okay, Naomi went to the former home of the Kennedy family, got sick and threw up. Her father had a heart attack. She met Teddy who became her best friend and he was strongly Hasidic Jew and Naomi is only of Jewish blood on her father's side and her mother is a convert. Teddy moves away. Naomi starts college. She watches a girl fall through the ice. She's asked about Shakespeare. I found nothing (at least up to page 143) that tied any of this together. It was simply a commentary, although beautifully written, of snapshots of Naomi's life.  I needed something to grab me long before I quit reading.
Additional stops for this book that will give other opinions than my own can be found here:
Wednesday, May 2nd: missris
Thursday, May 3rd: Bookstack
Tuesday, May 8th: Stiletto Storytime
Wednesday, May 9th: Book Him Danno!
Thursday, May 10th: Unabridged Chick
Monday, May 14th: Elle Lit.
Tuesday, May 15th: Dolce Bellezza
Wednesday, May 16th: A Book Geek
Thursday, May 24th: A Musing Reviews
Monday, May 28th: Reading With Martinis
Monday, June 4th: BookNAround
Tuesday, June 5th: Daily Nibbles
Wednesday, June 6th: The Blog of Lit Wits


Carol N Wong said...

Misery loves company! I gave up on a 632 page book at page 109. Nothing stuck for me either from that book. I know that I shouldn't guilty but it seems a shame that author wrote such a long book.

heathertlc said...

Darn, I'm sorry this one didn't work for you, but thanks for sharing your thoughts for the tour.